Congresswoman Brown made the following statement:
"Once again, the Republican Party is set on protecting the interests of millionaires and billionaires at the expense of our nation's ability to protect itself. On March 1st, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will sequester $85 billion in FY 2013 spending as mandated by the Budget Control Act, unless Congress acts. This across-the-board cut will slow economic growth and job creation while cutting services and investments critical to the American people. Indeed, sequestration comes on top of $1.5 trillion in discretionary cuts already enacted, the single largest cause of the economic contraction in the 4th quarter of 2012!
To me, this is merely an arbitrary, irrational policy that was intended to bring both sides to the table. Unfortunately, House Republicans have refused to bring a legitimate alternative to sequestration to the Floor for a vote. Unless this changes, on March 1st sequestration will lead to longer lines at airports as the number of security screeners is cut back, communities will be made less safe as FBI, DEA, and border security agents are furloughed, and local first responders will lose much-needed personnel as hiring grants disappear.
The Democratic Party and President Obama have already offered a balanced approach to replacing sequestration, and are prepared to compromise in order to protect our economy and national security. And compromise is critical since up to 1.4 million jobs are at stake, which would wipe out more than half the entire job growth achieved for all of last year.
Specifically, some of the extremely troublesome programmatic cuts include:
25,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women;
2,100 fewer food and drug inspections;
70,000 children lose access to Head Start;
4 million fewer meals served through the seniors nutrition program;
4,000 FAA personnel could be furloughed on any given day;
$120 million in reductions to Department of Homeland Security first responder grants; and
20% reductions in Pentagon operating budgets.
For the military in Northeast Florida and across the country, the proposed cuts will be outright devastating. Some examples include the cancellation of one ship at Mayport, the furloughing of civilian workforce both in Florida and across the nation; deferring one MILCON project at Jacksonville, as well as canceling 3rd and 4th quarter aircraft maintenance in the Jacksonville area. This is, of course, in addition to the announcement that the USS Gettysburg, based at Mayport, will have its deployment delayed because of the cuts in the budget.
To reiterate, the sequestration will have horrific consequences on domestic and military programs, and the Republican Party needs to come to the table immediately to solve this impending problem."